How to Build a Go-to-Market Strategy That Works

"How to Build a Go-to-Market Strategy That Works"

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Too often, businesses tend to stay the course (no matter what the market is doing). But just because things worked a certain way for a while doesn’t mean they’re guaranteed to stay that way. 

Many longstanding companies have plateaued multiple times throughout their tenure — from internal processes growing stale, friction occurring in the customer experience, or changing technology and cultures. 

Whatever challenge you're facing, chances are your marketing isn’t pulling the same weight as it once was. If that’s true for your company, it might be time to build a go-to-market strategy that reintroduces your product or service and uncovers opportunities for increased efficiency throughout your organization. 

What is a go-to-market strategy?

There’s no official “Go-to-Market Strategy Association of America” that determines the hard-and-fast rules for a good go-to-market strategy — it all depends on your organization, your capabilities, and your goals. Creating a solid strategy also requires an honest understanding of your company’s position in the market and how you serve your customers. 

For the sake of discussion, let’s paint a broad-stroke picture of a go-to-market strategy:

A go-to-market strategy is a documented blueprint that helps launch or relaunch a product or service to market. It involves evaluating the revenue operation flow of a company to find areas of improvement within internal processes and customer experience.

A real go-to-market example

To add a little more clarity, hear from someone who has planned for, built, and launched a successful go-to-market strategy.

We’ll get into the nitty-gritty details as we continue, but for now, think of your strategy as a formal course of action that outlines the steps required to remove the roadblocks to success and growth in your organization. 

Planning for a go-to-market strategy

Every go-to-market strategy differs regarding what’s included, but a successful go-to-market strategy implies some basic assumptions:

  • If you’re “going to market,” you have competitors within your niche. (You’re not creating a new market or Blue Ocean.)
  • You’ve been in business for many years and need to reset how your company operates in order to grow.
  • You know that what got you here won’t get you where you want to be. 

Similarly, every go-to-market strategy has a few key components regardless of industry, product, or service. The following steps are essential for building a go-to-market strategy that’s as flawless as possible.

Step 1: Identify the main pillarsPillars of a go-to-market strategy

The leadership team needs to provide the foundation that supports the rest of the strategy. Set the main goals with compelling reasons why everyone in your organization should get behind them. Go far enough with the high-level strategy to know if restructuring internal departments is needed. 

This is the point of no return. It’s an emotional roller coaster as you begin to understand how a shift in your go-to-market strategy will impact the lives of your team. Remember, your conviction is vital, so get clear on why this must be done and keep this confidential until you’re ready. Once the train leaves the station, there’s no turning back.

Step 2: Plan out the timelinePlanning the timeline of a go-to-market strategy

Give everyone a clear expectation of when you’ll launch the strategy by setting a launch date. Then add six months to whatever you’re thinking. 

It will seem too long at the beginning, but by the time you start approaching your ETA, it’ll seem too short. A successful go-to-market strategy needs time to develop, and your team also needs time to process it, so do yourself a favor by providing the benefit of time. 

Step 3: Bring it to life in a detailed deckBuild the detailed deck of your go-to-market strategy

Define what you’re going to do and commit to the plan. A strong go-to-market strategy will include background work, including:

  • Persona interviews and development
  • Competitor audits
  • Lead generation tactics (e.g., content creation, SEO, social strategy, etc.)
  • Goals and KPIs to measure success

Once the pieces are in place, it’s time to take it on the road. Tell everyone what you’re going to do and don’t skim over the how, why, and when. This includes letting the team know:

  • How sales and marketing operate today and how that will change.
  • How work flows through the organization now and how that operation will change (specifically, how data will be collected and how efficiencies will be created).
  • How to guide someone through the customer journey. Show how to remove friction and improve their experience using measurable data.

Pro Tip: If what you are rolling out to the market is a major disruptor, you may want to get HR’s involvement in designing compensation structures to align with the shift (including changes to titles and departments). Allow them to support the change through effective communication.

Work on your deck tirelessly with a group of trusted leaders, designers, and writers. Plan out the scenarios that could arise and become a unified front as a leadership team on how to handle them. Polish it to the point where it inspires the rest of your team to believe in the outcome, and be prepared to follow through and do exactly what you say you’re going to do.

Ready to build your strategy?

Successful marketing starts when businesses organize and align their marketing and sales efforts with their organizational goals. 

If you’re a business owner or leader within your organization, start by asking yourself what your marketing department can do for you. Chances are, the possibilities extend beyond simply generating leads and closing sales.

Need additional go-to-market support?

Sometimes, even the most seasoned marketers can use a fresh set of eyes to grow a business. Vye’s mission is to redefine marketing as a measurable growth investment, which means we work with companies daily to think of new, strategic ways to enter niche markets.

Launching a new product or service through a well-planned go-to-market strategy uncovers opportunities for increased efficiency. We can help optimize communication and workflows throughout every significant component of your organization. It all starts with a vision and is supported by a thoughtfully-crafted plan. 

We have the know-how to help you:

  • Create a new and effective go-to-market roadmap
  • Redefine what “marketing” means for your company
  • Earn a seat at your company’s leadership table
  • Impact your overall customer experience
  • Implement HubSpot services (and the skills to go with them)

Your market is already out there — what are you waiting for?

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